Eco-friendly band back on tour
Wellington indie rockers So So Modern are back after a two-year hiatus with a new EP and a string of tour dates.
They spoke to 3 News ahead of live shows in Auckland and Wellington to talk cycling, hugs, and giving up their day jobs.
So So Modern's second love is cycling - they do it for transport, and for peace.
“It's kind of like our last chance to savour the outdoors before we go down into the dungeon,” band member Mark Leong says.
The dungeon is an old bank vault, underneath a Wellington office block. It's here they cultivate their first love.
Missing music after a two-year hiatus, the band put their jobs as an architect, jeweller, and film composer on hold, and made a new EP - Transpacific Express.
It adheres to their long-running theme.
"We know there's something wrong with human culture and the way we live on the world, ‘cause we're sort of gulping it up,” band member Dan Nagels says. “So we have some tension and some guilt about that.”
But they hope that all comes across in an optimistic way.
There's optimism too in their latest tour move - after New Zealand, the band is bucking the Kiwis-fly-west trend, and trying their luck in Asia.
“A lot of New Zealand's identity has been the end of the world, longing for the mother land, looking to Europe for inspiration,” Leong says. “But now I think we're beginning to find our true identity. Finding a place in our geography - and that's the Asia-Pacific.”
They don't know whether they have fans there, and Chinese Officials have already asked for lyric sheets.
“We've heard stories from private shows to like government officials just to verify whether it’s suitable for the public,” band member Grayson Gilmour says.
“I actually really want to do that,” Leong says.
And Nagels agrees.
“That would be amazing.”
But the three pescatarians live far from a rock world of drugs, booze and scantily clad women.
The closest they get to the wild side is coffee and hugs.
“I guess if you were outside of the band in their early twenties and early thirties hugging and chanting mantras like ‘stamp out doubt, stamp out doubt’,” Gilmour says.
“That makes us a new age cult, a motivational cult,” Leong says.
So So Modern are, above all, nice boys. They don't objectify women, they don't eat mammals and they go for bike rides.